PORT PHILLIP BAY


Southern Crested Weedfish 

Cristiceps australis Valenciennes, 1936

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: III, XXVII-XXIX, 6-8
Anal fin spines/rays: II, 24-26
Caudal fin rays: (segmented) 9-11
Pectoral fin rays: 10-11
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 3
Lateral line: (arched) 14-21 + (straight) 32-34
Gill rakers: 1-2 + 5-7 = 8-9
Vertebrae: (precaudal) 14

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other meristics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
A Large and highly diverse group of modern bony fishes many of which have a generalized perch like body form. Most have pelvic fins with one spine and 5 rays and the maxillary bone is excluded from the gape of the mouth. Interrelationships of the group are poorly understood and continue to be studied. They inhabit almost all aquatic habitats from high-altitude strams to the deep sea, although most are marine.

Family level detail.
Mostly small well-camouflaged cryptic fishes with finger-like pelvic fins on the underside of the head and a long-based spinous dorsal fin joined to a short soft-rayed portion. The spinous part begins with several stiff spines, and the soft-rayed part contains up to 6 rays. Head often with orbital and nasal tentacles. They have internal fertilization and give birth to live young.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Clinidae
Genus:
Cristiceps
Species:
australis

General Description

Body long, slender, strongly compressed, tail base very narrow; dorsal fin in two parts, the first tall, short-based, arising above middle of eye, not connected to the long-based second dorsal fin; hind membrane of second dorsal fin connected to attach to middle of tail base; pelvic fins with a tiny spine and three rays. Brown to yellow or green, either plain or with large pale spots on fins, and a distinct dark oblique bar from eye to rear of mouth. To 30 cm.

Biology

This well-camouflaged species is variably coloured to match the surrounding seagrasses and macroalgae. It is common in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria.

Habitat

Rocky reefs on macroalgae and in seagrass beds in bays, in depths of 0-40 m.

Reefs

Seagrass meadows

Distribution guide

South-eastern and south-western Australia, including central and eastern Victoria.

Species Group

Fishes Weedfishes and snakeblennies

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

30 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Southern Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps australis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 15 Dec 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6380

Text: creative commons cc by licence